You all know by now that I love playing around on my chalkboard. Well I thought I would share some of my tricks I have learned along the way. So here are my Top 10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks.
1. Sketch out your design first. I like to draw out on a piece of scratch paper what I have in mind for the chalkboard, it’s a lot easier to switch around on paper than it is to keep drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing on your chalkboard. Here is the rough sketch I used for my New Years Eve Board.
2. Use a level and measuring tape to space out where your words will go. I, being an extremely lazy DIY-er, would much rather eyeball it, but I can’t tell you how many times I have started over because something wasn’t centered (I have major symmetrical issues) or I ran out of room. You also don’t want your words running down hill, so a level is key.
3. Regular old crayola chalk works the best. I get mine from the dollar store, no fancy chalk paint pens for me. I like the old school look and blendability of plain jane chalk.
4. Dafont.com is da-bomb. Have you used dafont.com? It is awesome, there are zillions of free fonts you can download. For my chalkboards I don’t actually download them, they have this handy dandy feature where you can preview your text. I just type in whatever I’m going to write and they show me what it would look like, then I just do my best to replicate it drawing by hand. Here I’ll show you – this is the screen shot of the font I used for my Easter Chalkboard.
5. Google Clip art images. Want to add a cute picture to your chalkboard? Just google whatever you are looking for to get some inspiration! For my New Years Eve Chalkboard I did a google search “champagne glass clip art images” to help me get the right look for these glasses.
6. Water is your friend! You will mess up at least a few times even with all your careful planning. I like to keep a damp rag close by to help me “erase” any mistakes. You will be using so much chalk that simply using an eraser is not going to cut it. DON’T use paper towel you will get little fuzzies stuck everywhere, not cool.
7. Q-tips are your very best friend! When I’m all done I like to go back thru and touch up/clean up any spots that are a little smudged or have a lot of detailing with a wet q-tip. I keep a stack of them plus a cup of water next to me for easy clean up. I practically went thru a whole package with my Christmas Chalkboard.
8. Make yourself a stencil. Using a design with repetition? Give yourself a break and make a stencil. See the “egg” bunting above? I drew one egg on my chalkboard, traced it on a piece of vellum, cut it out and used it over and over again. I did the same thing for the little chicks and bunnies for my Easter Chalkboard.
9. Mix and match your fonts. I like to use at least 2 fonts to add interest to my design but I try to cap it at 3 or 4. Mix it up! I usually stick to one script font, one that’s more bold and blocky, and one that is super simple. Or I break all the rules and use only one font like I did in my Spring Chalkboard.
10. Have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to do chalkboard art. It’s supposed to be fun, don’t stress over whether it’s perfect or not. After all, if you are like me, you are going to erase it and start over in a week or two anyways. :)
So there you go, now you know everything I know – go forth and chalkboard!
….and send me some pics if you do, I’d love to see what you are up to :)